Häman Aktell, 24, was originally a fourth-round draft choice of the Nashville Predators in 2016, but never signed and became a free agent several years ago. A late bloomer, he entered the SHL in 2020 and has played for Vaxjo HC ever since.
This year, the 6’3″ defenseman took a huge step forward offensively, recording 36 points in 51 games. He also helped the club win another SHL Championship—his second in three seasons—by adding three goals and seven points in 18 playoff games.
There was some buzz about Häman Aktell coming into the 2016 draft, as a potential steal thanks to his exciting blend of size and skill. He couldn’t put it together in time for the Predators to sign him, but perhaps he’ll be a story of perseverance and dedication.
The Capitals, looking to find value wherever they can, have nothing to lose by offering an entry-level deal. He’ll be an interesting case to watch in training camp, where it should be apparent quickly if he’ll be able to handle himself at the NHL level.